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William C. Steere, Jr.
President(1990 – 1991)
Chief Executive Officer (1991 – 2001)
Chairman of the Board (1992 – 2001)
During the ten years Bill Steere served as chief executive officer, he focused Pfizer's business on its research-based, global pharmaceutical business and centered the Company's management on a set of core values including community, customer focus, innovation, integrity, leadership, performance, respect for people and teamwork.
Steere Joined Pfizer directly from Stanford University in 1959, beginning as a sales representative. He held a variety of United States and international sales, marketing, and general management positions and became president of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in 1986. The board of directors elected him chief executive officer in 1991 and chairman in 1992.
During the 1990s, Pfizer emerged as the industry's "partner of choice," marketing not only its own innovation but those of other health care companies as well.
Pfizer breakthroughs during the 1990s included market-leaders Norvasc® (amlodipine besylate), Zithromax® (azithromycin), Zoloft® (sertraline hydrochloride), and Viagra® (sildenafil citrate). With partners, Pfizer launched Aricept® (donepezil hydrochloride tablets), Celebrex® (celecoxib), and Lipitor® (atorvastatin calcium).
In late 1999, Steere announced Pfizer's intention to merge with Warner-Lambert, which, like Pfizer, was a fast-growing, global, health care company whose roots extended back to the mid-1800s. In June 2000, Pfizer and Warner-Lambert began operating as a single company with more than 85,000 colleagues worldwide.
Bill Steere retired as chairman and CEO in 2001.